Juiced Bikes has been bringing a range of high-performance electric bikes with massive batteries and equally impressive performance to the market for years. We tested the Juiced Bikes Scorpion and were thrilled when they contacted us about their latest creation – the RipCurrent S Step-Through.
Disclaimer: Juiced Bikes made this bike available to the author free of charge for the purposes of this review.
The Rip Current is Juiced Bikes’ proven fat-tire e-bike that is available in both a traditional high-step frame and now in a step-through frame. The company sent us the RipCurrent S Step-Through, which includes the larger 19.2 Ah battery that offers slightly more range and more power than the standard 13 Ah battery. Both versions of the RipCurrent integrate the battery into the down tube of the bike for a cleaner look while still retaining the option to remove the battery. The S’s massive battery is equivalent to a range of around 70 miles per charge, although actual range will vary depending on the support used, terrain, rider weight, and weather.
Right in front of the gate, the RipCurrent S Step-Through dominates the room. The large 26 “x 4” fat tires give it a wide stance, while the oversized step-through frame makes it feel like a specially made special-purpose vehicle. Right in the middle, the RipCurrent’s massive battery is a reminder of how much range and performance this thing is under the hood.
The intimidating attitude is heightened by the matte black paint job on our test bike and is quickly mitigated by the lovely blue, yellow, and white color options that it’s also available in. While it has a solid presence on the road, the RipCurrent S Step-Through was designed as a more accessible version of the popular high-step frame build. The low frame paired with the adjustable BMX style handlebars make this bike a great option for a wide variety of riders.
Juiced Bikes says the bike is ideal for riders 5’3 “to 6’1”, but at 6’2 “I feel extremely comfortable on the bike and would have no problem setting it up properly for riders up to 6 ‘ . 4 ″. The pairing of seat post and frame can be adjusted upwards by another centimeter from my already high target value and the handlebars can be angled slightly forwards or backwards to meet different driver preferences.
The bike arrived in a traditional bike box and takes an average of assembly work to put everything together. Our assembly time was just over 30 minutes, which is mainly due to the fact that we are particularly careful with the above-average weight of the bike. Juiced Bikes has a helpful set-up guide and assembly video to ensure a successful start after the bike arrives, but as always, if you’re uncomfortable with putting on wheels or pedals, it’s best to ask a professional at your local bike shop for help. After assembly, we placed the bike on the charger and took a few minutes to read through the instructions before the first ride.
Juiced includes all of the tools you need to get started, but you should also have something on hand to cut the straps that hold the box together from the outside and the zip ties that keep everything in place. Pro Tip: Remove the zip ties without cutting them and use them later with a simple life hack (video). It’s like getting a free pack of zip ties with your bike!
It feels very solid and stable on the RipCurrent S Step-Through. At the start of our test track, the fat 26 “x 4” Kenda Krusade tires stormed down the hills, while the adjustable front suspension forks absorbed most of the larger bumps. It’s not designed to be a single trail slayer as its heavy weight makes it less maneuverable, but we had a lot of fun riding it on a handful of off-road trails.
The powerful 750 watt Bafang motor on the rear hub makes it easy to turn any piece of road, trail, grass or beach into an exciting trail. In fact, one of my favorite tracks that I trot around on e-bikes is a stretch of dirt road that is often littered with soft mud, bumps, stones, and the like. Cranking the pedal assistance to the maximum or bending the accelerator pedal of the RipCurrent immediately triggers an adrenaline rush.
Front and rear hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors provide calming braking power, even when sprinting 30mph downhill. When slowing down, the Kenda tires provided a lot of traction and stability even with extremely fast deceleration.
As the track flattened out, the beautiful interplay between the 9-speed manual transmission at the rear and the electric 5-speed pedal assistance system could shine. The bike has both a torque sensor and a cadence sensor to help the bike understand both pedal speed and the rider’s performance. The result is the smoothest integration of pedal assistance that we’ve seen on every bike so far. Regardless of the mechanical shift we chose, it seamlessly applied the perfect amount of force.
We had a lot of fun with the RipCurrent S step-through and found it extremely versatile. The low frame makes it an option for both my full-height wife and me, while the included luggage rack made it easy to attach a basket for groceries, a crate for our pup, or a couple of panniers for a long weekend ride. The bike’s full fenders take the pressure off puddles or rain that might come your way and surprisingly make it a very easy bike to use on the commute to work. A set of integrated LED front and rear lights is a nice addition for additional visibility, with the headlight very solidly illuminating the path in front of you after dark.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as efficient as a street slayer commuter bike with narrow tires, but with such a massive battery it doesn’t have to be. And that’s really part of the beauty of electric bikes like the RipCurrent. Designed with comfort and functionality in mind, they can simply call up the engine to bridge weak legs, heavy tires, long distances or extra cargo. Do it all with an e-bike. Why not?
Flatlands are great, but we put the drivetrain to the test on the back half of the route when we’re going uphill. Shifting mechanical gears while using as much force as my weak legs can muster, coupled with changes in engine support levels on the last mile of our route is the toughest test we’ve found, and the RipCurrent S step-through did it without batting an eyelid.
Personally, I’ve devoured and spat out entire derailleurs on bikes on this route, but the RipCurrent S step-through wasn’t even gradual. On the steepest and most strenuous stretches of the route, he was able to shift gears seamlessly, change the support levels and use the accelerator to get the full power of the engine.
Overall, the Juiced Bikes RipCurrent S Step-Through is an impressive fat tire bike that is suitable for a wide range of rider sizes. Thanks to the pairing of the cadence sensor and torque sensor, it has one of the smoothest integrations of engine power and mechanical transmission that we have ever seen. When needed, the powerful 750 watt motor in the rear and massive 994 Wh battery work together to get you through some of the toughest terrain, even if my oversized 205 pound frame puts a load on it.
At $ 2,699, it’s not a budget e-bike that raises the bar higher than much of the competition for component quality, range per charge, and overall functionality. Visit Juiced Bikes to find out all the details about the RipCurrent S Step-Through or to buy one yourself.
All picture credits: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica
Juiced RipCurrent S Step-Through Electric Bike Specifications
- engine: 750 watt rear hub motor
- battery: 19.2 Ah, 994 Wh, 52V frame-integrated battery
- Range: 70+ miles of range per charge
- Top speed: 28 miles per hour
- Sensors: Torque and cadence sensors
- Pedal assist mode: Eco, 1-3 and Sport for a total of 5 levels of support & left thumb throttle
- E-bike class: Class 3 with pedal assistance up to 45 mph
- Weight: 76 lb
- transmission: Mechanical 9-speed drive
- Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes front and rear with 180 mm rotors
- tires: 26 ″ x 4 ″ puncture proof Kenda Krusade tires
- Driver height: 5’3 to 6’1
- equipment: Luggage rack and mudguards included
- price: $ 2,699